November and Naked

I think I have finally finished Permutations 2, which I had likened to a large bowl of soup that you can’t seem to finish. No matter how many vertical lines I added, it seemed like there was barely any progress made. A recent studio visit from a friend and collector, coupled with the urging of my daughters, persuaded me to leave it as is. There is a fine line between overworking and knowing when to stop. Usually I have a definite plan which leads me from beginning to end but this piece was so huge and the concept so new, I’m glad I listened to the critiques and heeded the advice. This is the second piece of the series where the panels can be removed, rearranged, and replaced in any order.

Permutations2,2014,60x100inPermutations 2, 2014, acrylic on birch panel, 60″ x 100″

This month my email inbox was filled with art blogs and someone trying to set up a Pinterest account with images of crocheted animals and odd pictures of tree stumps. While I’m not entirely sure why someone would want to post images of crafts in my name, I was completely sure about being throttled by a recent artist’s work being censured. Nude photographs of Diane Ducruet and her daughter were recently removed in Paris at the MEP over a handful of anonymous letters protesting the work. This world of crazy hyper political correctness has allowed a spineless curator to cave to and allow censorship at a fine art exhibition. Not only am I shocked by this censorship but also with the subject matter at which it was aimed. These images (at least the two that I have seen) are not inappropriate and in fact are beautiful depictions of love and playfulness between a mother and child. As a mother to two young girls, I felt a warm glow and smiled when I first saw these photographs. Any child would be so lucky as to have that kind of embrace from her mother. I have found myself tangled in many a pretzel hug and hope that my girls won’t grow out of wanting that attention from me any time soon. The weirdest part of this story is that is happened in Paris and NOT the United States.

Way back before my husband and I had children, we took the early years of our marriage to travel and live outside of Los Angeles. Exploring his part of the world, we spent four months traveling through Eastern Europe: Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, and my favorite, Hungary. I found the country and the people to be beautiful. So when I saw this article about communist era buildings in Hungary painted to express individuality, it made perfect sense. Sadly, I never got to see any of these houses in person but photographs of them can be found in a new book by Katharina Roters called Hungarian Cubes: Subversive Ornaments in Socialism. Not many people I know have been to Hungary and Budapest is yet to be the Prague of the Western travelers’ itinerary. But what they are missing is in fact the Paris of Eastern Europe.

Budapest2000Myself and my husband, Budapest 2000

We were lucky enough to know someone and travel with this friend down to his home city of Pécs. The cobblestone streets gave way to landscape and architecture that afforded me extreme pleasure. Our lovely host actually built his house with his father. This elegant secret of a country is the one place I would return to in that region.

LeviMarijanPecsMy husband with our host Levi (left) in Pécs at his father’s home, 2000

In the “eye roll” section of my blog this month (and yes, it may become a habit) there is a story about a performance artist in Paris who is literally looking for needle in a haystack. I can’t even bring myself to defend this type of work and yet am oddly jealous that he gets to spend his time in a museum performing this task. My own work is doing a bit of performance quite all on its own. I was at a collector’s home recently and noticed that some of the materials I used to make the work he bought was fading. I mentioned to his wife this problem and offered to replace the work. But she actually said she liked the fact the work was slowly disappearing because it looked like performance art. Now that’s a unique idea; the work is performing and I had nothing to do with it other than using materials that were old and therefore not archival. Here is an example of that sneaky work:

Untitled30,1999Untitled 30, 1999, 12″ x 12″, acrylic and ink on canvas

And finally, in the “I’m a big fan” section of my blog, I would like to share this amazing video of an artist who continued to paint even after he went blind.  And thanks to my friend in NYC for bringing it to my attention.

 Music: While I have been a fan of Hozier for a while, I have just recently been listening to the entire fantastic album.

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